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Community Member

Sideways Profile Picture in Canvas

I am trying to upload a picture to my Canvas profile. The issue is my picture is sideways. I read in a previous post that if using a picture uploaded from a cell phone (which I was originally doing), that could be the issue. I decided to take a picture and even that picture is sideways. 

3 Replies
Community Coach
Community Coach

Hi  @jenn2883 ...

That sometimes happens...especially on iPhones (not sure if that's the device you have or not).  There are a couple ways you might be able to fix this...

  1. Instead of using the button on the camera to take your photo, try taking your photo with one of the volume buttons.  Sometimes, that actually keeps the photo turned the way you want it when uploading to Canvas.
  2. If you have a file storage area on the web (, Google Drive, etc.), you could first upload your photo from your phone to one of those places.  Then, sign in to Dropbox or Google Drive via your computer, download the photo, and then use something as simple as MS Paint to edit your photo and turn it 90 degrees.  Then, upload it to Canvas.

I hope one of those options will work for you, Jennifer.

Community Participant

I am a Canvas admin and have a student with this problem.  I downloaded her picture, flipped it in a photo editor, re-uploaded it and it is STILL showing sideways.  Help!

Community Champion

Hi  @jenn2883 ,

This is more than likely due to an EXIF orientation tag in the photo's metadata that Canvas is misinterpreting. This happens sometimes and often the only solution I have found is to take a new photo and upload it and see if it works correctly. 

 @khuntsman ‌, your issue is probably EXIF related too. Your problem stems from the fact that the metadata in the image file tells Canvas to rotate the image a certain way and, again, the data is misinterpreted by Canvas. You physically altered the image pixels in the photo editor but the metadata is the same, so Canvas will once again rotate the image based on the EXIF orientation flag. If you don't want to have the student take another photo, you might look at finding a program that will just strip the metadata from the image file and try uploading it again.

EXIF orientation flags can be a real pain in the rear if your camera tags things in a strange way or if the application that you upload to misinterprets the data. Unfortunately it happens all the time across loads of different web apps and software loaded directly on your computer.

Don't know if this helps or not, but I suspect this is what is happening 😞